Happy Friday, friends! Today I’m excited to introduce you to LLR’s March Featured Sponsor, Claire, of A Little Claireification. Claire has been a sponsor here before, so she’s no stranger to me — but if you haven’t met her or visited her adorable corner of bloggy land, you’re missing out. She is a busy woman, but finds the time to share cute crafts, yummy recipes and tips for every day life. Do you know what makes this month a little bit more special having her as a sponsor? Well, I’ve had the chance to meet her here at Blissdom. How fun, right? Well, without further ado, meet Claire!
1) Tell us a little about yourself. How did you get started. When and how did you start blogging?
Well hi there, it’s me Claire from A Little “CLAIRE”ification. Clever, huh? You can thank my Husband for that one. He’s pretty smart so I‘m going to keep him around. “Mr. Claireification” and I actually met online years ago and this Fall we will have been married for 15 years. While some days he is certainly the more clever and logical one in our motley bunch, I hold the official title of “Fanny Camp Director”. We make our home in beautiful, sunny Florida and we are all “stocked up on crazy” around our house. We have three amazing boys and one long-haired, calico “diva” cat – she would tell you that she’s in charge if she could talk. It’s Bedlam and chaos and mostly a lot of good times. God has blessed me in more ways than I could ever count and certainly more than I could ever deserve.
In addition to my blog, I have worked in Television Production & Marketing for twenty-one years now. I have always loved my job and I do consider myself lucky, although I can assure you it’s not always as glamorous as it may sound. Unless you consider waking up some days at 3AM for a TV shoot for a 17-hour stretch glamorous. But, aside from the (sometimes) long hours and general craziness that just comes with producing television programming or other social media content, it’s mostly been great fun over the years.
After following a few amazingly talented bloggers for a couple of years, I really wanted to jump in and share my own stories and creative ideas online so, thus was born the “A Little Claireification” blog this past Fall. My very own little creative outlet and happy place to share my DIY projects, crafts, recipes, ideas, inspirational stories and tales about my life so far. I especially like sharing ideas that are budget friendly – I guess managing all of those TV budgets for so long (not to mention the gripping reality of having to put three boys through college one day) has contributed to my “thriftiness”. And I don’t like that word, really. I prefer “budget friendly” but no matter what – I do love saving money so in the end I guess that makes me a “Thrifty Mom”. Someday that will make me a “Thrifty Grandma” and all I can picture right now are knee-high stockings so we’ll come back to that later, K?
It’s hard to believe I am just six months into this adventure. I have met some really fantastic “bloggy friends” (like Kelly!) and I have learned so much along the way.
2) How do you balance blogging with everyday life, a family, etc?
Um… can you repeat the question? Balance, you say? Ok, I will be completely honest and say that balancing work and a rapidly growing new blog with home life and family has sometimes been challenging during these first 6 months. Yes, it’s true. I forfeited my “Mother of The Year Award” for 2012-2013. Managing all of the elements that go into a blog has definitely been such a learning experience – writing, taking (better and better) pictures, editing, posting, sharing, promoting… It really takes more time than one might think. But the great thing is that every day gets a little easier as I learn more efficient ways and find new tools to accomplish all of these things and keep a (more and more) organized schedule. And did I mention that my Husband is the most supportive man on Earth and an amazing Dad? Well, I just couldn’t do it without him.
3) What kind of relationship do you have with your followers, and which posts, seem to be the most popular with them?
I truly love my readers – most are just so sweet and loyal and they manage to stop by and comment regularly on my blog or on Facebook, Twitter etc. It truly makes my day! My most popular posts tend to be room makeovers, thrifty shopping recaps or budget crafts and recipes. I am constantly looking for budget ideas to help make people’s lives a little easier and I also love sharing inspirational posts about things I am learning along life’s journey. We’re kind of all in it together and I couldn’t do it without feedback and encouragement from my readers and fellow bloggers. As “A Little Claireification” continues to grow, I am so looking forward to sharing with new followers (AKA “future online friends”).
4) What blogs do you follow regularly?
Gosh – a LOT. I follow great blogs because I learn so much from them so I’ll just list the first few that come immediately to mind, but this is certainly not all inclusive: Live Laugh Rowe (of course!), Living Well, Spending Less, Life in Grace, Fox Hollow Cottage, Tatertots and Jello, Tidy Mom, redheadcandecorate.com, and Four Marrs One Venus. Ok… this is too hard. I could go on for a long while. I really love so many and I am consistently inspired and amazed by so many awesome, talented ladies every day. See my FB and Twitter. I follow them.
5) What do you enjoy the most about blogging? What do you find to be the most challenging part of blogging?
I love having a creative outlet/platform where I can write, and share ideas and stories but, again, it’s the people I meet and that I have the privilege to interact with every day that really make it wonderful. It wouldn’t be more than a glorified journal with a URL without them.
As I mentioned, the most challenging has been balancing family, work and blog but it gets easier every day. Just like any start-up project or business, the first year is the hardest. The main thing is that I really like what I do. I also set high expectations of myself and I work to achieve those. I may not always meet those expectations and won’t beat myself up about it. It just goes on the list for the next day. J
6) Tell us five random things about yourself.
1) I have done mission work in both Haiti and Spain. I am mostly fluent in Spanish but I don’t use it as often as I should. ¡Qué lástima más grande! (“What a terrible shame”.)
2) When I was little, my Mom used to call me her “little Bantam Rooster” because I have always been pretty feisty. And I actually still am but, now that I am older and wiser, I (mostly) resist the urge to be “Miss Opinionated Pants” because… well, who cares. #notworthit
3) I am addicted to cheese. While I also love coffee, if someone ever told me I could never have cheese again I might possibly sink into a deep depression and die. Yeah, it’s like that.
4) My elbows are double jointed so I did not make the cheerleading squad in 10th grade. This was devastating to me at the time but now I can look back and… no, never mind. It’s still not fair.
5) I love to sing and in addition to my degree in TV Production, I also have a major in Theater Performance (albeit unused). My Husband is a Blues guitarist and plays professionally and on some occasions I have gotten to join in. My “Pandora” app is filled with amazing female vocalists.
6) I am 5’ 2.5” inches tall. I cling to that half inch and, aside from my most favorite of all - my cushy Croc flip flops – I do not wear flats but I DO love a good chunky / comfortable heel. Well, ok. I just love shoes.
If you’re looking for some easy weeknight meals, be sure check out my Bolognese Recipe.
And be sure to swing by and take a look at my Master Bedroom Makeover.Claire can also be found in these locations around the WWW:
Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | Pinterest